Think T.A.N.K. aims to raise awareness of the pollution that can be caused by badly managed septic tanks, the need for septic tanks to be managed properly, and the benefits a well-managed tank offers.
To see this all in one easy to understand format take a look at our local River Dee Septic Tank Guide leaflet, we also have a UK Septic Tank guide, containing wider contact details. The leaflet answers questions about how to find your septic tank, how your septic tank works and why you need to look after it. It offers tips to help you keep your septic tank in good working order, reducing the number of times it has to be emptied, protecting the environment as well as saving unnecessary expense. The Septic Tank Guide leaflet has been so successful that it is now UK guidance.
Septic Tanks in the Dee Catchment
Aberdeenshire has one of the highest numbers of private septic tanks in the UK, with over 4,000 households using a septic tank to treat wastewater from baths, sinks and toilets. When working properly, these are very effective treatment systems, with helpful bacteria doing the work of digesting waste.
However, if a septic tank is not functioning properly it can cause odour nuisance, flooding, pollution, serious health risks, and considerable expense for the owner to meet legal requirements. The liquid that drains away from the tank (effluent) can cause a number of problems. If a system is failing, the effluent may contain high levels of harmful bacteria and so pose a serious health risk to families and communities. The effluent from all tanks (even those that are well-maintained) contains chemical residues (called phosphates) from household cleaning products. Phosphates are a serious pollutant of watercourses and therefore it is important that septic tank owners only use products that are labelled ‘phosphate free’ or ‘septic friendly’, especially if where a tank discharges directly to a burn, river, loch or the sea.
Septic tank owners have a number of legal responsibilities. They must make sure that the tank is maintained and working properly in order to prevent risks to public health and to protect the environment. All new septic tanks require authorisation before installation, and all existing septic tanks must be registered with SEPA. This can be done at any time, but will be a requirement when the house is next sold. To register your septic tank, visit SEPA or call 0800 80 70 60.
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